Saturday, October 4, 2008

Droubble: Delay


Gold symbols skitter across the overview display, indicating the arrival of an incoming spacecraft at the threshold. A quick twitch of thought opens communications with the craft.

“–epeat: Unknown vessels, identify yourselves.”

Another. They’ve been arriving less and less frequently, but we still get at least one or two a cycle. I assume a comfortingly human visage. “Sir, please understand. Your jumpgate malfunctioned. Your vessel, along with several others, was caught in a near-closed spacetime whorl. While your subjective travel time matched a normal gate jump, external time has passed at–”

“What year is it?”

“I believe by your reckoning, it would be the year 7348.”

“Oh wow. That can’t be.”

“I’m afraid it is.”

“Uhh, those unknown vessels are still incoming...”

“Sir, not only is your ship drastically out of date, but you and your crew are, as well. The probes will remedy the situation.”

“What do you– hey, they’re eating my ship!”

“As I said....”

The display flashes bright white.

“Self-destruct charge detected.”

“All brain scans of crew are completed; there’s no loss.”

“So many resist...”

“You would understand.”

Yet I don’t. I recall my own terror at assimilation. And yet, I can’t quite recall why...

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